At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we lead a community-wide movement to improve access to education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. The energy and enthusiasm of you, the Live United movement, makes it possible to create, lead and invest in programs that improve access and opportunity in our overlapping, interdependent focus areas.
Advocacy is an important part of our work to drive systemic, generational change in education, income and health. Although our fiscal year did not include a Texas Legislative session, North Texans continued to feel the positive effects of our ongoing advocacy work.
In 2019, one of our top legislative priorities was to simplify the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application for low-income seniors, because only 36% of those eligible are enrolled in SNAP. Our advocates made numerous visits and calls to local legislators, and although the original bills died, our advocacy efforts educated legislators about the need to increase food access for seniors. In 2021, the SNAP bills were refiled and passed with strong support from legislators. The Texas Department of Health & Human Services has since unveiled a simplified application for seniors and those with disabilities.
It’s been challenging [with remote learning], but I tell them, ‘There’s no excuses. You have to get it done.’ [With our new laptop], it will give my kids time for additional learning experiences. And I have three kids, so [now] there won’t be as much disagreement over the use of the technology.”
Once Upon a Month™ delivers free age-appropriate children’s books to families every month. Thanks to support from The Boone Family Foundation, we’re moving closer to our goal of distributing 1 million books by 2027. Additionally, for the last two years, our partnership with Atmos Energy has provided free Vooks animated storybooks to North Texas children. These programs encourage early literacy by stimulating curiosity, language development and learning skills.
Made possible by a grant from the Texas Instruments Foundation, this partnership with Educate Texas delivers hands-on learning opportunities to students in three school districts to encourage social and emotional wellness, physical activity, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Following 2021, the first year of Heal Play Learn programming, participating students showed improved retention rates in DeSoto schools, as well as significantly higher projected STAAR test scores.
I’ve learned I’m really good at engineering!”
In May 2022, we celebrated the close of Unite Forever, the first endowment campaign in our nearly 100-year history. Launched seven years ago, the goal of the campaign was to create a permanent financial foundation that will support our future work in North Texas. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors and the energy and enthusiasm of campaign co-chairs Ed Galante and Mary Templeton, we met and exceeded the $100 million campaign goal three years ahead of our deadline.
Our successful Unite Forever campaign establishes a predictable, sustainable and stable future in which we will continue to advance our mission of improving access to education, income and health. As a result, the Live United movement will be able to positively impact more North Texans every year, in perpetuity.
Meeting our $100 million Unite Forever goal is just the beginning. As we move closer to the centennial of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in 2025, we are more focused than ever on uniting a broad coalition of supporters to drive meaningful impact in North Texas.
Looking ahead, the Live United movement will benefit from the leadership of incredible change-seekers like Jean Savage, our 2022-2023 Annual Campaign chair; Erin Nealy Cox and Trey Cox, the new Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society co-chairs; Mandy Austin, our new Women of Tocqueville chair; and Jason and Laura Downing, co-chairs of the Tocqueville $25,000 Circle.
In 2022 we launched the second class of our March Tocqueville fellows, an engaging leadership and giving program generously funded by Carol and Kevin March. With 47 dynamic fellows in the program, we are cultivating the next generation of North Texas philanthropists who will shape the future of our community.
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UWMFMD (Foundation) Grant
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Senior Vice President,
Corporate Social Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer,
Chief Executive Officer,
PepsiCo Foods North America
McDermott-Templeton President and CEO,
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Dallas Managing Partner,
Ernst & Young LLP (EY)
McDermott-Templeton President and CEO,
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Looking back on our fiscal year 2022, I am grateful for every member of this unstoppable Live United movement—from our corporate, nonprofit and civic partners to our first-time and longtime investors to the individual change-seekers, volunteers and advocates who invested time to make an impact. Together, you’ve improved access to education, income and health for nearly 1.5 million North Texans—more than 20% of our region.
Many of our neighbors grappled this past year with the effects of inflation, as prices increased rapidly for school supplies, food, housing and nearly every other necessity. As with most societal challenges, our local communities of color have felt this economic pain most acutely.
Nonetheless, we drove progress toward our Aspire United 2030 community goals and delivered on our commitment to advance racial equity. And with new challenges in mind, we continued to adapt and innovate, expanding existing initiatives and launching new programs to drive transformational change in our region.
When local students missed out on learning opportunities because they lacked access to connectivity and digital technology, we worked with AT&T to launch Digital Connections, providing free laptops to southern Dallas families. When hard-working employees struggled to make ends meet, we enrolled more participants in Pathways to Work, enabling them to access better-paying jobs. And as the cost of healthcare continued to rise, our Healthcare Navigators assisted tens of thousands of families with accessing affordable, high-quality insurance plans.
We continued to partner closely with corporate leaders to drive strategic impact. This work included new investments in United Way targeted impact initiatives such as Southern Dallas Thrives, co-created with Frito-Lay and PepsiCo Foundation; Pathways to Work, launched by JPMorgan Chase; and Women in Construction, supported by Hilti North America.
In parallel, we closed our groundbreaking $100 million Unite Forever endowment campaign over goal and three years ahead of plan. A robust endowment creates a predictable, sustainable base of funding that will advance our mission and enable the Live United movement to create opportunity for generations of North Texans to thrive.
Our success over the past year would not have been possible without the inspiring leadership and unwavering dedication of our board chairs, Charlene Lake, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility and chief sustainability officer, AT&T; and Terri West, chair, Texas Instruments Foundation; as well as our annual campaign chair, Anne Chow, former CEO, AT&T Business.
We’re calling on each of you to pledge your confidence, your voice, and your support for achievement of the Aspire United 2030 goals to drive lasting change in education, income and health. Thank you for your commitment to creating access and opportunity for all North Texans to thrive.
McDermott-Templeton President and CEO